There are currently over 100,000 people on the waiting list to receive an organ which could potentially be vital to saving their lives (Center for Organ Recovery and Education). Unfortunately, some of these people remain on the waiting list for numerous years because there simply aren’t enough donors. The need for organs and tissue is vastly greater than the number available for transplantation. Because there is a lack of donors, an average of 18 people die each day from the lack of available organs for transplantation (Center for Organ Recovery and Education).
The process of organ donation is a very beneficial procedure. Be being a donor, a person is capable of saving or improving the lives of more than 50 people (Center for Organ Recovery and Education). However, many people are not educated about the process of organ donation and therefore delay their decision to be a donor because they are not accurately informed. Statistics show that between 10,000 and 12,000 people die annually who are considered medically suitable for organ donation, yet only 6,200 donate (Center for Organ Recovery and Education). That is why it is important to educate and promote awareness about the process of organ donation and transplantation. There are, however, a few misconceptions and inaccuracies about organ donation and transplantation which also results in a person choosing not to be a donor.
For example, some people believe that if they are in an accident that the doctors will not try to save their life because they are a donor. This is false seeing as how doctors and paramedics are required to do everything in their power to save a person’s life. In fact, an individual needs to be in the hospital and pronounced dead in order to donate organs (Center for Organ Recovery and Education). This example is a common myth which influences people not to become a donor. It is important to be aware of these myths so that people are not misinformed about the process of organ and tissue donation.
Why Should The Audience Care?
Organ donation has been shrouded by the myths and misconstruction of the mass populous. This causes the general public to have a more than ignorant understanding of it. We are not saying that everyone has to be for organ donation, however, that they should care enough to understand the truths of organ donation and to then, if they still oppose, find arguments that are not of the cliché like.
After all, organ donation saves lives. Put yourself in the seat of someone whose kidney has suddenly failed and needs a transplant. We bet that you wouldn’t think twice about getting an organ; you would take one right away if it was offered to you. Unfortunately for you, your condition is just above the bar for an immediate transplant. This means you get put on the waiting list. Why? – Because there just aren’t enough people who are willing to donate their organs. It could be days to years until you get your new kidney. A few months pass and you finally get your life saving organ. Of course you’re grateful for this donation. Sadly, you are not an organ donor.
The point of this realization is to express the idea of taking without giving. We believe the only way to justify this action is to sign up as an organ donor. If you are willing to accept the organs of another you should also be willing to give yours once you are not using them anymore. In fact, these questions should coincide with one another in that if you say you will not be an organ donor, you will not accept organs either. So if you care about yourself, you will care about donation.
Our project will raise awareness of organ donation and a healthy life style. This is a key component to getting people to care. Otherwise, why should you care about something you know nothing about? This awareness will allow our audience to make an educated decision on whether or not to become a donor.
Although our group cannot do very much to have a direct effect on organ donation by retrieving organs, we can do our part to promote a healthy lifestyle and sign people up to become organ donors. To help support and encourage organ donation we are hosting an Organ Donor Decathlon. This event will include a series of smaller events that help to get people active and some that are just for fun. The active events consist of basketball, dodge ball, volleyball, a two lap dash, and ping pong. The rest of the events are air hockey, foosball, a free throw contest, and the games Jenga and Operation. The decathlon will be split into two parts and during half time we will talk about organ donation awareness and that people should sign up because only about half of the people suitable for organ donation actually donate (Center for Organ Recovery and Education). We will also cover the myths and fears people have about the topic at hand. This will help them to make the right choice to become an organ donor because they would know the facts and they would no longer have anything to be afraid of.
At our event there will be a booth for people to sign up to become organ donors. We will also be advocating a healthy lifestyle since this is somewhat of an athletic event. Additionally, having a healthy lifestyle will lead to our organs remaining healthy for a longer period of time. There will be prizes for the top competitors and other gifts for everyone else who participates in the decathlon. Our event will help the Duquesne student population to become more aware of organ donation while creatively incorporating the importance of a healthy lifestyle. All of this will hopefully make a positive connotation on organ donation for those who were against it at one time and encourage them to sign up.
Why do we have the best solution?
We believe our solution to be the best. It is a fairly original idea; we have not seen it put into use in the Organ Donation Awareness Field. It has helped many other organizations raise awareness, such as the Solar Decathlon to raise awareness for solar energy (Solar Decathlon). We think that by combining this fun activity with raising awareness, we are able to spread the word and have more people acknowledge that organ donation is an important topic everyone must be informed about. We feel that instead of using one activity for everyone to do, we could use several small activities to create a more competitive environment.
Even though it is many activities, we implement raising Organ Donation Awareness throughout the Decathlon to make sure the main point is discussed at the activity. Not only do we plan to talk about organ donation, but also raising awareness for a healthy lifestyle. This way, it will affect many more people because it has a wider audience. Because it is on campus, anyone with a Duquesne I.D. Card can join. This makes it highly accessible by our main audience for anyone that wants to participate.
The event is fairly open and it is easy to sign up for; all it takes is to go to an area where the registrars are or the gym where one could easily sign up for the decathlon. The decathlon is not only for the fast or strong, but it is for everyone, by including games that do not always take a lot of skill to accomplish. That being said, with a vast array of activities and a balanced point system, everyone can be competitive and have fun at the same time.